Afghanistan attack leaves dozens dead

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani condemned the massacre in a remote area in Sar-e Pul province

Dozens of civilians have been killed in an attack by insurgents in northern Afghanistan, according to officials.

On Sunday, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack, which took place a security outpost in Sar-e Pul province, in a remote area in the north of the country.

Ghani said in a statement: "Criminal terrorists have once again killed civilians, women and children in Sayad district of Sar-e Pul province, adding to their crimes.

"This barbaric act of them is deemed a direct violation of human rights and a war crime."

The governor of Sar-e Pul, Mohammad Zaher Wahdat, said that as many as 30 to 40 people were "brutally shot and killed" after attackers captured Mirzawalang, a predominantly Shiite village.

Mr Wahdat said that 12 insurgents and seven Afghan troops were killed during the 48-hour battle.

It is not clear who the insurgents are. The village is in a part of the country where ISIL fighters and the Taliban have been present.

The Taliban claimed in a statement it had captured Mirzawalang but said reports of civilian casualties were false.

The insurgent group has carried out a number of deadly attacks in recent days as fighting has intensified across Afghanistan.